The most bowls ever. (German Chocolate Cake)

Oh yes, I’m out of the country. Sorry for any delays in responses or little tech bugs that pop up while I’m gone. Enjoy this series of cakes while I’m off remembering what life was like before internet access.


Seriously, how many bowls does it take to make a cake? By my count, this recipe takes 6 bowls, 3 saucepans, two cake pans, and one very tired dishwasher. Not that I’m complaining, or anything. In fact, I even volunteered to make this cake again. It is the penultimate German Chocolate Cake. (All caps, see?) It is soft, crumbly, perfectly moist chocolate cake sandwiching amazing coconut-pecan custard, swathed in pure chocolate frosting bliss. This chocolate frosting warranted me making a little extra to keep in the fridge (everyone does that, right?) It is basically just chocolate made spreadable. (Yes, I know that’s a ganache, more or less, but it still enthralls me.) Look – even the custard filling wanted to snuggle  up with that chocolate frosting!


But G, I hope you know how much I love you, because I washed a lot of dishes for you, and I was still in a dorm kitchen at the time. 
Notes: This recipe does take a chunk of time, but it was amazing. I think it was great as I made it. 
German Chocolate Cake
Barely adapted from David Lebovitz
Allow 3-4 hours. Makes one 9″ round cake. 
Cake
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons water
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk*
1 teaspoon vanilla 
Filling
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoon butter
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 1/3 cups unsweetened coconut, toasted
Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)

Icing 
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cake
1)Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour two 9-inch cake pans.
2) Melt chocolate together with water in the microwave. Stir to smooth, let cool to room temperature.
3) Beat the butter and 1 1/4 cup of sugar (save 1/4 cup sugar for step 5) until fluffy, then beat in melted chocolate and egg yolks, one at a time. (Save whites for step 5.)
4) Sift together flour, baking powder and soda and salt. Mix half of dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then add buttermilk and vanilla, then finish with the dry ingredients.
5) Beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks, add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat till they hold stiff peaks.
6) Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter, then barely fold in the rest of the egg whites.
7) Divide batter between pans and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 40 minutes.**
8) Allow cake layers to cool for 10-15 minutes in their pan, then to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Filling
1) In a saucepan, mix the cream, sugar and egg yolks. Heat over medium (stirring constantly) until a thermometer reads 170, or it starts to coat the spoon.
2) Place the butter, toasted coconut, and pecans in a large bowl.
3) Pour the egg mixtures over the coconut mixture and stir until butter is melted. Let cool to room temperature; it will thicken as it cools.
Syrup
1) Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Frosting
1) Place the chocolate in a bowl with the corn syrup and butter.
2) Heat cream over medium high heat till just boiling. Pour over chocolate. Stir until smooth, mix in butter and corn syrup, and allow to cool to room temperature.
To assemble the cake:
1) Cut the cool cake layers in half horizontally.****
2) Place first half layer on plate and brush with syrup. Spread with 3/4 cup of coconut filling. Place another cake layer on top. Repeat until you get to the top (and don’t forget to put coconut filling on top, too.)
3) Spread a crumb coat of chocolate frosting around the side of the cake, then go back and liberally apply the rest of the frosting, minus half a cup.
4) Using the remaining frosting, pipe***** a border around the edge of the cake.
*For a buttermilk substitute, mix 15 tablespoons (one cup minus one tablespoon) regular milk with one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Let sit and curdle for five minutes, then use as directed. 
** The original recipe said to bake for 45 minutes, but mine were done at 40. 
*** At this point, I recommend much prayer and patience, because you are about to get very sticky. 
**** An easy way to do this is to take a long piece of dental floss, wrap it around the cake sides like a belt, then tighten slowly – it’ll cut right through the cake. You can also use a large bread knife or a fancy cake cutter tool. 
***** You an snip a very small corner off a ziploc and use that here. Notice my border is not beautiful, but just a bunch of crowded loops, one on top of the other. It worked. 
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This entry was posted in Cakes to Celebrate, Dessert, Med Student Life, New York, Party Food. Bookmark the permalink.

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